Construction magnate Hernandez concedes defeat in Colombia presidential race

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Colombian construction magnate Rodolfo Hernandez conceded defeat in the Andean country’s presidential contest on Sunday after he lost by more than 700,000 votes to leftist Gustavo Petro.

Construction magnate Hernandez concedes defeat in Colombia presidential race

Hernandez recognized his lost through a social media video and wished Petro doesn’t “disappoint those who trusted him.”

Meanwhile, several of his supporters gathered outside his campaign headquarters in Bucaramanga looking disappointed.

Hernandez, who refers to himself as the ‘king of TikTok’, ran a non-traditional campaign focused mostly on social media, repeatedly canceling media interviews, and barely appearing in public in the 10 days leading up to the vote.

Petro won 50.5% to Hernandez’s 47.3%. The two had been technically tied in polling ahead of the vote.

Construction magnate Hernandez concedes defeat in Colombia presidential race

Petro, a former mayor of capital Bogota and current senator, has pledged to fight inequality with free university education, pension reforms, and high taxes on unproductive land.

His proposals – especially a ban on new oil projects – have startled some investors, though he has promised to respect current contracts

Some 20 million people cast ballots nationwide.

This campaign was Petro’s third presidential bid and his victory adds the Andean nation to a list of Latin American countries that have elected progressives in recent years.

Petro, 62, said he was tortured by the military when he was detained for his involvement with the guerrillas, and his potential victory has high-ranking armed forces officials bracing for change.

Petro’s running mate Francia Marquez, a single mother, and former housekeeper, will be the country’s first Afro-Colombian woman vice-president.

Published : June 20, 2022

By : Reuters

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